LITIGATION DEPARTMENT OF THE YEAR - Mid-Size Firm  ALM's Daily Report   2018 - 2017 - 2016 - 2014

Plaintiff Voluntarily Dismisses All Claims in Response to Defendants’ Motion Summary Judgment

The plaintiff brought a personal injury action in the Circuit Court in Monroe County, Florida due to injuries he sustained while riding his bicycle.  According to the plaintiff, he was injured when his bicycle hit an allegedly hazardous obstacle—wood planks and a large diameter utility hose that had been laid across the roadway.  As a result of the accident, plaintiff sustained four broken ribs and a fractured clavicle.  The plaintiff alleged that the defendants, a general contractor and its subsidiary, were performing construction work on a roadway and were the “controller[s] and/or manager[s]” of the area where the accident occurred and owed a duty to maintain the area in a reasonably safe condition and to warn of the allegedly dangerous condition.  However, just two-to-three hours before the accident, the plaintiff had safely navigated the same wood planks and hose.  At the time of the accident, the plaintiff was traveling at his top cruising speed and allegedly “forgot” about the planks and hose.  In support of his claim, plaintiff asserted that there were no warning signs, cones, or construction personnel on the roadway to warn cyclists of the allegedly dangerous condition. 

Following the plaintiff’s deposition, defendants moved for summary judgment arguing that plaintiff’s prior knowledge of the condition discharged any alleged duty to warn and that plaintiff’s contributory negligence was the sole proximate cause of the accident.  In addition, defendants argued that they could not be held vicariously liable for the alleged negligence of their subcontractors.  Plaintiff initially filed an opposition to the defendants’ motion, arguing that there were genuine issues of material fact that precluded summary judgment.  However, after reviewing the defendants’ Reply Brief and just moments before the hearing, Plaintiff’s counsel voluntarily dismissed all claims against the defendants.  The defendants were represented by Alexander Heydemann and Johnny Friedman.

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